Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday night, into the wind...

bit of a southerly blowing, pushed into the wind over to Steve's to find him not riding (again!), this time cos of his wrist tweak (cause unknown) of sunday. Nelson, Andrew, Tony, Warren and myself were the only starters. tootled round, up busy Rapaki, taking down a few people, helluva wind up on top, waited for Helmetless Mark, Marie, and accountant Steve, aka Abba... my legs still not fully recovered from heat and ride on sunday.

struggled up round Vernon, then blasted round Traverse to Vic, Thomsons, Kiwi, up road to top of Marleys, struggling majorly with the road and last 4wd climb. (Marie riding up Flying nun from road to meet us part way up). Bombed it down the 'Nun, passed Marie by, and hauled ass down to Kiwi again... everybody seemed to have a pretty good run. i felt good, getting to know what to expect on every section now.

Up road to top of Vic, and down to brakefree, then down ?Sesame St? into new section with cool wooden wallride. then Tony, Marie, Mark and abba bailed, and the rest of us went down Dazzas, into Brents, Flow, Bridges, top line again, cleaning all, then barged up the being-rebuilt-zigzags, up Hidden Valley, to pylon, and caught the lower Old Skool singletrack for a blast down. all good.

streetlights were just on as i rode home across town, nice tail wind to push me, tho it'd died a bit (as per..).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hot as hell, Sunday. lots of rests in the shade

Left home 8.35ish, warm sunny morning. Nelson was riding slowly to meet me and we rendevoused alongside Lancaster Park. both pretty tired, me cos of an excellent saturday enjoying Fat Freddy's Drop followed by a slightly late night, nelson just cos of a late night. we cruised very mellowly down Wilsons, Eastern and up Bowenvale. Hit Old Skool for the climb, already feeling the heat, but thankfully, a lot of the singletrack was still in the shade. however, the final zig zags were not and we cooked. i had to stop twice due to poaching of the brain. stopped in some shade for a rest just above top gate. rode on up, hit the Traverse and hauled ass round to Vic park, then down Thomsons to Kiwi. Nelson got some more water, i bought a Budget Ice Cream Soda, knocked back its sugar, flavouring and colouring goodness, then on we went up to top of Marleys. sat under shade of Worsley's big pine tree for a bit enjoying a cool breeze and chatting to some folks with a flat.

rode up and hit the Flying Nun... nelson following, camera mounted on handlebar. bombed it. flew down, enjoying every berm and yumpy and rocky bit. all the way down. caught upto and were briefly held up by a woman on the lower section below road, she pulled over and on we flew. then on down Old Dyers. best ride down there in ages. the middle section that is usually heinously bumpy was smoothed out somehow and we seemed to float down it in now time.

climbing up into Vic from the road was killing me, took off my helmet and when we got to the 19th battalion memorial stopped under a tree in the shade for a rest and discussed how people on sundays seem to be mostly rude...

after a rest we tootled up to skidder site and passed top of Dazza's down to middle section of Cool Runnings, swooped down it, round Flow, upper line of Bridges cleaned all drops into washout bottom of K2, nelson stepped off, then on down out and home by 12. all up bloody good ride, but tired and heat are not a match made in heaven.

meanwhile, the boys rode like this which i would have done if i'd not been doing the bees in the afternoon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday night, rapaki, vic, nun, vic, oldskool. Kar Nidge.

good sized group assembled at Steve's (who'd returned from holiday), to find Steve was piking all due to a measly little flat tire... tubeless, eh? who'd run 'em.? :). anyway, there was Pete, Andypandy, chris, weird-little-tony, waynus, nelsy, warren, and then we picked up english mark at bottom of Rapaki Rd.

tootled up, nelsy and me putting a bit of distance on everyone, tho mark keeping up well and the others not that far behind. i overtook these two guys half way up the first half only to be overtaken by them on the last section. chur! some nice views to be had, and hoards of other bikers, runners and walkers. busy busy. made the top and had a good rest, then on up Vernon. legs tired from sunday i reckon, but cleaned it all good,

took off from below road round traverse, haulin' ass, me trying to hold on to nelsy's tail, which i managed to mostly. and just before the lava flow i started something that i seemed do from then on, which was taking a differing line from him (more on that later). good bomb round to vic, with one incident just before the pond where this guy could have easily pulled up and let nelson thru, but cos he was on the uphill decided he had right of way and nearly collided with nelson, and me right behind. sure, uphill has right of way, but only where practical, and its courtesy to give people way if its easier... dumbass.

all assembled eventually at vic, and no sign of waynus. weird-little-tony went back, andypandy checked his txts and there was one from wayne, flat tire... right back at the start. he showed up eventually.

then it was over and down Thomsons, some taking both bits, others not., then up road to top of Marleys. Nelson and me just absolutely flew down this. really getting the flow on. bombing the rocky bits, jumping, nelson nearly losing it on the jump into the old below the road. made the kiwi and waited. and waited. mark turned up. waited. waited... then along come the others. Pete in a bit of a state. blood leaking from knee, what will be a very bruised chest, scaped hip... he'd lost it on the same jump nelson nearly did.

Pete bailed down Dyers Pass Road, we went back up into Vic. all taking different lines to Brake Free, then into the new below that, me chasing andrew to skidder site, others ending up there.

then into Dazza's, nice flow down, bottom bit a bit brake-cut. into Brents, flew thru there. before Flow, Tony busted a whole bunch of spokes, so he bailed, walking back up to road and out home, the rest of us continued down. took the high line across Bridges, into K2, i cleaned all and down 'washout', the others walked down. then wayne crashed at top of washout...

then the others continued down valley and nelson and me took newly nearly-restored zigs and zags up to pylon at beginning of lower OldSkool. bit of granny, bit of walking, but moderately effortless gain of altitude to an excellent flowy descent, me taking every line nelson didnt... including the old bit that has the overhanging gorse, extrawidth thistles and sketchy rocks, which surprising cuts a couple of minutes off the descent... waited for nelsy then bombed the last. out bowenvale, home across town, just before dark, lights'a'flashin.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, rapaki to thunder to sumner

just the 4 of us met outside steve's. Tony, Wayne, Rex and me. headed up rapaki, good haul up there, Rex pushing hard as he's training for the Vulcaniser this coming weekend. At the top we hung a left. the sky was looking ominous, with huge thunder-head type clouds, darkness below. had a good spin round witch hill then a bomb up the road to the Castlerock.

waited for some guys to come up towards us, then waited for a couple of other riders who'd caught up. then let them get ahead in case we got stuck behind them. i said "i bet i'll catch him on the 2nd hairpin"... wasnt far wrong either. hussed down the trail, wishing i didnt have quite so much pressure in my rear tire, and would have caught the guy by the second hairpin, except that a rider comin the other way slowed me up... anyway, caught him by the end, and his mate had a pinch flat.

Stopped at top of Bridle path to admire the roar of hail on Heathcote Valley. could see it slowly creeping up the Tunnel Rd motorway, and the roads in the valley were all saturated. Thunder rumbled overhead and around us. very spectacular... headed round summit road and under the gondola a bit of rain spat on us, but nothing major. by the cutting the road was drenched but rain had passed on. walkers were soaked to the skin and complained of hail. John Britten was soaked, i stopped and cut a couple of drains in places, mud flecking all over us.

down road to Greenwood, trails quite wet. musta been a downpour, the clouds heading towards Port Levy and along the coast. just prior to this time there was a waterspout off sumner pics . was a fun spin down greenwood, with the greasiness making it interesting. amazingly, the steepest bits were the driest, as the water would have run straight off, whereas the less steep stuff the water had soaked into. not too much carnage, tire to trailwise, a group had been through before us and their treads were barely visible. all cleaned it nicely, out to Evans.

Then, time for the Captain. once again, i led off. strangely i took the new(ish) low line (which we normally climb up). baulked on the big rock with the wee steps cut into it (its been getting me every time lately). then cleaned everything else. had a great flow. all the way down. then to Dot Com for coffees, disturbing some snobs who made comments about how 'there should be dress code', us giving mud splattered evils back. they can just fuck off back to their poxy McMansions and stick their middle aged middle classed heads back up their middle new zealand assholes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday night, MacCormacks, Greenwood, Godley, Snake, husshhhh...

totally mint ride last night. i drove over picked up Nelson and we drove to MacCormacks Bay. headed up the grunty singletrack, cleaning most, only walking the round two lowest corners (and me the second of the final switchbacks at the end), and the steps at top. then on up Mt (un)Pleasant Rd, which is always about a km longer than you think its gonna be... short break at top of Greenwood park, then the bomb began. Nelson led the way, i sat right on his tail most of the time. sometimes i couldnt see the trail for the sun shining on the dust he was rarking up. once or twice he got away from me but i reeled him in on the rockier stuff. excellent flow down with only one near-whoops that didnt result in anything.

crossed Evans Pass and hit Godley track. both botched the first rockies, pounded the rest no probs. i led after i passed Nelson part the way up (where i broke a pedal once, under a rock overhang near the top). excellent flow through to Livingston, bit of easterly shove from the left on occasion, then clambered up and over next lump, with a good flow down to Breeze, a few cattle in the way (and their tasty deposits to avoid).

Hit the Anaconda. I led off, haulin'. possibly one of the best runs down the snake we've ever done. Nelson reckoned it was one of his fastest and he was on my tail, so i musta been quick enough i guess. i was more concerned most of the way down with the fact that my chain had fallen onto the granny... but yeah, a wicked run down and a couple of major g-outs round some of the bermy corners... then a good blast down the 'tail. (part way down we stopped and watched briefly.. surf was messy, but quite big, not that many surfers out)

thru the car park and on up the road. but not all the way up...(disclaimer: there is no sign that specifically says "No Bikes"... = fair game) we finally tried out a trail i've always wanted to test. it proved a good climb, a few wee switchies that are too tight to ride, and the very last bit of climb i walked (cos my legs were dead by then), then over the ridge and the view of Sumner very good, then the trail sidles along the slope above these big muthahfucker cliffs. quite techy riding, which would be doable were it not for the 100m (or more!) drop below you. no wonder its never been touted as a bike trail, too dangerous. then towards the end it got WAY too techy, so we walked and carried between short riding stints. a few zigs and zags (ride, ride, carry, ride ride) and we were down onto the road, where we blasted down and back round through sumner etc to the car... all up a mint ride.

I can see us using this 'new' trail in the future to get back up onto the Godley track to go back to Evans on then down Capt Thomas, thereby extending those rides and keeping up the singletrack content (and avoiding the road out of taylors and the stupid fucking boyracers who dont seem able to navigate it properly)

Thomson stem report #2. bloody good. still able to climb like a mtn goat, but descent and control is well good.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, Worsley's, Nun, Traverse, Old Skool

fitted new (short) Thomson Stem on saturday, so was interested to see how performance was affected. it took off 20mm from the old FSA (which has been re-allocated to the Singlespeed).

Excellent ride. spun across town to Tony's, to find a big group (Andrew(pfmtbc), Wayne, Tony, Fi, Englishmark, Andrew's bro Chris, and two others- Warren and TRex(?). we tootled round to Worsley's and picked up a couple of MotherTed's friends, then halfway up the hill, Marie. good climb up the hill, onto the dirt, and i kept the power on the whole way. passed a Landrover Discovery part way up, front tire blown off. stolen? i cleaned the bodybag, as did a couple of the others, which is always good. the shorter stem definitely lightened the front end on the steep, but was manageable... we rested a bit under the big pine tree.

On to the Flying Nun. a tonne of riders through while we were waiting at the top, then we let them get ahead and got to it. enjoyed the descent, blasted down the top section, into the two newly formed switchbacks, nice one, overtook some guy. New stem making the bike eminently flickable. sweeeet. bombed the lower section, jumping more jumps than ever before (short stem? perhaps). at the bottom, i ducked up onto the road and trundled across to have alook if the new gov's bay track was up to there yet, but nope, so re entered the singletrack and promptly caught up with Wayne.

At Kiwi Fi and her two friends peeled off, the rest of us carried on up to upper Thompsons and then round the traverse. good spin round there, lots of oncoming riders, including Graeme from Bicycle Biz's last ride of about 15-20 folks...

then off Piste down top of Huntsbury, into Old Skool, taking all the shortcuts drops down rocky stuff, good flow and control. English mark got dismounted by a rock hiding behind tussocks up top, then got rutted on the 4wd/zigs.

Lower Old Skool absolutely rocked. hauled ass down it, enjoying the crap out of it. then down Bowenvale ave, and i peeled off round Eastern Tce home into the headwind, feeling pretty good but slightly worn out.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bottled at bottle lake

Nelson picked me up and we drove out to the carpark. Huge turn out, with two guys i recognised but dont know the names of. so, there was them, and the usual suspects Steve, Pete, Andrew, Tony, Wayne, Matt, English Mark, Maria, Helmutless Mark, and Maria's 11 yr old son. Helmutless was on a ONE WHEELER! so, anyway, i was on the singlespeed, nelson was on his new frame, as was Wayne, and Andrew was on the ss too. had an excellent fun ride, spin spin spin, turned right, out to the beach, back in up the middle to Spencer Park where we visited Pete's wife's sister who was camping there. had some beers, was fun, then riding back was even more fun. good times. had a wee go on the Nomad, and on Matt's new Force. both interesting, but strange off of a hardtail...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Peninsula Tops, View, Sinclair, Fitz, Herb

Spent Boxing day to the 4th at Little Akaloa. other than tootling about the bay, i did one big(ish) ride whilst there, then the biggie on the way home.

Cant even remember what day it was now, but back in the last days of 2008 i headed up to Chorlton, and on up View Hill Rd. it was hot, damned hot. schlepped on up to the end of the 'legal' bit, thru the gate and on up to the peak. the Hill really lives up to its name, with a view down into Little Ak, Raupo, Okains, Akaroa harbour, out over the plains to the mountains, across the whole peninsula, the porthills behind Lyttelton, right up the coast to the Kaikouras... with a weird sea fog banked up off Little Ak, Raupo and Okains. mint. had a little explore on the south side, then bombed back down, minutes top to bottom.

Yesterday, got dropped at Pettigrews Road. headed up over Sinclair, Fitzgerald, across the tops over Mt Herbert and into Diamond Harbour. Awesome ride, awesome views, awesome weather. Saw only 3 other bikers, and 5 walkers.

about 20 minutes in, after a bit of climbing, i was stepping off a stile into Whatarangi Totara Reserve when my foot went into a hole and wham the pain shot through my left ankle. "FUCK!" i thought, "not now". it hurt like hell, but i figured i just had to go on with it. it twinged a bit whilst pedalling but mostly was okay. definitely felt it but the pain seemed to keep at bay most of the time. anyway, i soldiered on, not letting it take away my enjoyment of the epic trip i was undertaking. little bit of walking up top of sinclair to where i met the first two bikers by almost being run into by the first. i'd just climbed over a stile and was testing my ankle when this guy came honking in. he took evasive action and avoided hitting me. i had a wicked descent from there to the saddle between the two peaks, flowy and beautiful, with cool singletrack (that we'd always avoided in the past) for a time. the grunt up the back of Fitzgerald was a grunt as always, some walking. on the fast descent off the top i said g'day to a walker.

little bit of walking through the tight techy bit, then nice descent down and grunty wee climb then nice fast descent again to waipuna saddle. walked a bit again then fast down to portlevy saddle. VERY disappointed to see on the DOC sign a biker with a red slash through it from here. ignored that and continued on. steep wee bit then all riding til the attack on the back of Herbert's sub peak (913m). walked up that, carrying bike mostly, sometimes walking it ahead or beside me. talked to a walker couple on way up that. rode across and peaked Herbert (919m). then for the descent. 17:44 and i was aiming for the 18:10 ferry... talked to a couple of walking girls, then right down in the sweet singletrack valley talked to a biker.

made the ferry wharf at 18:15, ferry already half way across back towards Lyttelton... damn. only one thing for it, Godley House, where a pint of Monteiths Golden hit the spot bloody well. as did some fries and another pint... after sitting there for the good part of an hour, when i stood up again, the ankle screamed. T picked me up from the ferry in Lyttelton.

Overall, i climbed the equivalent of Mt Herbert, all up 917 m of altitude gained, but i got to relish a grand total of 1380 m of descent...